Our world is charged with both the grandeur of God and the void of his absence. The seven deadly sins are the force causing that hole. They are at work in each of us. They decimate our relationships, our souls...
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Our world is charged with both the grandeur of God and the void of his absence. The seven deadly sins are the force causing that hole. They are at work in each of us. They decimate our relationships, our souls and our world. These deadly sins often seem pleasing and good for gaining what we desire, but they are thoroughly poisonous. Conversely, the Beatitudes are Jesus' pictures of a restored creation. The Beatitudes introduced what Jesus said to his earliest followers about a life strong and fruitful. In fact, the Beatitudes give us a glimpse of a world empty of evil and filled to the edges with God's life. Looking at the Beatitudes and the seven deadly sins in turn, we see two paths, two sets of invitations. Both call to deep places within us to come and taste. Both invite us to take up residence. Both present themselves as life as it actually is. But only one will draw us further into reality. And only one will make us happy.
"Of the many, many books about the Gospels, or about Jesus, or about Christian morality, only one in a thousand gives us a real breakthrough, a new big picture. Most are just nice little candles on the cake. Seven is a bonfire. It's not just good; it's striking. It doesn't just say all the things you've heard a thousand times before. And yet it's totally in sync with both the saints and the scholars."
- Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College, and author of over forty-five books, including Fundamentals of the Faith.
The Beatitudes of Jesus stand in sharp contrast to what ancient believers identified as the Seven Deadly Sins. Both promise us life at its fullest---but only one delivers. Setting the Beatitudes one by one against the Sins, Seven reveals how the Beatitudes point us from the nothingness that devours to the blessedness that restores and fills.
Jeff Cook teaches philosophy at the University of Northern Colorado. He is the author of Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes. He pastors Atlas Church and longs to front a funk band again. He lives with his wife and two sons in Greeley, Colorado.